Murthy for tough decisions to rebuild Infosys within 36 months

Bangalore, June 15 (IANS) Infosys co-founder and executive chairman N.R. Narayana Murthy said Saturday tough decisions would be taken to rebuild the global software major, which would take at least three years.

"The challenge is daunting and the task of rebuilding a desirable Infosys will take at least 36 months. In the process, there will be some tough decisions resulting in pain as we move forward," Murthy, returning to the helm in the top executive post, told shareholders at the company's 32nd annual general meeting (AGM) here.

Admitting that the company had gone through challenging times, Murthy said during the last two years, the focus got blurred on winning highly-competitive, large revenue-yielding outsourcing projects.

"The strategy is to focus on opportunities from consulting-led end-to-end solutions, leveraging technology for higher margins, developing intellectual property-(IP) based solutions to delink revenues from effort," Murthy said.

Noting that the company historically relied primarily on projects involving application development, maintenance, testing, BPO (business process outsourcing) and infrastructure management, Murthy said the business had become commoditised in recent years.

"Our desire has been to ensure revenue growth while maintaining decent margins. We have to re-focus on this, which is our bread and butter business in the short-term while ensuring that we accelerate our progress in the first two streams in the medium to long term," Murthy said in his address to about 1,000 investors who attended the AGM in person and hundreds through web-casting of the proceedings.

Promising to dedicate fully and wholeheartedly to the task on hand, he said the need of the day was to focus on employees, take quick, tough and firm decisions, communicate the decisions with clarity, and execute them with speed, imagination and excellence to exceed expectations of customers and investors.

"The company is committed to refocusing on winning large revenue-yielding outsourcing projects to enhance our win ratio in such deals. Extra focus on commoditised businesses has the potential to accelerate our revenue growth while reducing our margins. I want you all to be aware of the downside," Murthy reiterated.

Observing that executing the new strategy would require him to change some of his long-held beliefs, Murthy quoted Sir Winston Churchill (former British prime minister) words that improvements require change and the quest for perfection required to change often as necessary.

"We will make our sales force more effective by improving the quality of sales talent, provide them with incentives and every resource needed. We will adopt a flexible pricing policy, where absolutely necessary, to enhance our growth rate," Murthy added.

Earlier, outgoing chairman K.V. Kamath said Murthy would provide strategic direction to the company at this point of time.

"Murthy, who has consented to be executive chairman again, will guide the company when the industry is facing challenges of an inflexion point in the technology business and provide strategic direction at this point of time," Kamath told the investors, chairing the AGM on the request of Murthy.

Kamath said Murthy's entrepreneurial and leadership record coupled with his long experience as a technology pioneer made him eminently qualified to lead Infosys again.

In an emergent meeting June 1, the company's board had appointed the 67-year-old Murthy as executive chairman for the next five years to steer its fortunes in these challenging times.

Retiring from the company in August 2011 as non-executive chairman on attaining 65 years, Murthy become the company's chairman emeritus for life. He was the company's chief executive till 2002 since inception in 1981 and chairman till 2007.

"Murthy has always been proactive in his leadership as one of the key figures in shaping the future of our industry. I am sure we will again see an Infosys which is proactive in everything it does as an industry leader," Kamath asserted.

Noting that employees were the soul of the company, Kamath lauded them for their performances, driven by commitment and perseverance.

Later, the shareholders unanimously approved the resolution appointing Murthy as the executive chairman for five years and as a director on the company's board again.

But Murthy's return to the helm abruptly cuts short the five-year tenure of Kamath who will be a lead independent director on the board.

The meeting also endorsed Murthy's request to have his son Rohan Murthy as his executive assistant in the chairman's office during his tenure.

Rohan's appointment will be co-terminus with that of his father's tenure for five years.

As Murthy's only son and a blue-eyed boy, 30-year-old Rohan will take a sabbatical from Harvard University in the US where is a junior fellow in the Society of Fellows to assist his father in the chairman's office.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Bowling worries for Super Kings

Bowling worries for Super Kings

After failing to defend a mammoth 205 against Kings XI Punjab, Chennai have a lot to think about. More »

Punjab pull off another big chase

Punjab pull off another big chase

GAME 7, SHARJAH—Maxwell, Miller, Pujara chase down Rajasthan's 192. More »

T20 test for Cheteshwar Pujara

T20 test for Cheteshwar Pujara

The class act from Saurashtra may have to rethink his approach to the mannerless format. More »

Special meeting to replace Srinivasan

Special meeting to replace Srinivasan

The BCCI is likely to convene a special general body meeting (SGM) in May to replace N Srinivasan on the board's disciplinary committee. More »

Shastri in proposed IPL probe panel

Shastri in proposed IPL probe panel

Some members stressed on the need for proposing names with an "impeccable record and clean image". More »

Roach escapes injury after car crash

Roach escapes injury after car crash

The West Indies fast bowler lost control of his BMW sedan due to slippery road conditions in his native Barbados on Saturday. More »

Panel can help clean mess: Raghavan

Panel can help clean mess: Raghavan

The former CBI Director is one of the three candidates proposed by the BCCI to head the enquiry into the IPL betting and spot-fixing scandal. More »

Repose faith in Indian coaches

Repose faith in Indian coaches

All of them cost plenty of dollars which I feel is unnecessary for a two- month tournament, says former cricketer Yajurvindra Singh. More »

Cook relieved after period in limbo

Cook relieved after period in limbo

The England captain is looking forward to a fresh start after a dispiriting Ashes defeat last year. More »

[INTERVIEW] Jayawardene and Sangakkara

[INTERVIEW] Jayawardene and Sangakkara

Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara go over their World T20 win, and feel grateful to have fans whose support remains unwavering in victory and de… More »

Need to improve fielding: Ashwin

Need to improve fielding: Ashwin

[T20 Newsline] Lacklustre Super Kings, fast-improving Sanju Samson and other news from IPL-7. More »

Aussie coach joins emerging Afghanistan

Aussie coach joins emerging Afghanistan

Peter Anderson has started work in Kabul as the fast-developing team prepare for their debut at next year's World Cup. More »

Chaos threatens to engulf SL again

Chaos threatens to engulf SL again

As Lanka's head coach decides to jump ship, euphoria over winning an ICC tournament has dissipated into fuistration. More »

Jayasuriya unhappy at Farbrace conduct

Jayasuriya unhappy at Farbrace conduct

Sri Lanka's chief selector is upset at news of head coach Paul Farbrace's possible move to England. More »

Have nothing to prove to anybody — Sehwag

Have nothing to prove to anybody — Sehwag

The Nawab of Najafgarh says a good run in IPL could help his chances of a comeback on India's tour to England in June. More »

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Furious fifties by Duminy and Dinesh Karthik end a long losing streak for the Daredevils. More »

Five things England must do to bounce back

Five things England must do to bounce back

England have appointed a new head coach in Peter Moores. More »

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

Royal Challengers overcame a stutter to cruise to the small target they were set by Mumbai Indians. More »

‘Felt like helpless minority’

‘Felt like helpless minority’

Former BCCI treasurer Ajay Shirke says emotions got the better of Srinivasan and he tried to oversimplify things by calling Meiyappan an “enthusiast.” More »

Royal test for Kings

Royal test for Kings

Preview — Clash of philosophies between Australia-centric teams More »

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

Kevin Pietersen's hopes of reviving his international career appeared to end Saturday when ECB managing director Paul Downton said there was 'no way back'… More »

The world record that nearly wasn't

The world record that nearly wasn't

Twenty years ago this week, Brian Lara became Test cricket's highest scorer, but he almost didn't make it. More »

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

His status as president of TNCA makes him eligible to attend the Working Committee meeting on Sunday. More »

Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell seems to project an icy disdain when at the crease. Match situations rarely faze him and the bubble in which he plays excludes everyone … More »